Lisa’s Baby: FASD Awareness Skit
© 2004 Teresa Kellerman
Revised Septembe 5, 2005
This is a skit that can be performed for any audience, any target group. I usually do this at the end of an all-day training. Earlier in the session I perform two other readings, usually right after each of the breaks, to get everyone back on track again. These can be done for awareness events, for class presentations, for dinner speeches, or for just about any gathering. The two preliminary poems are only a few minutes long, and the skit itself only takes about 10 minutes.
The first poem is “Hush Little Baby With FAS” which are lyrics to the song “Hush Little Baby” and can be done by anyone who can carry a tune. I hold the FAS doll that is wrapped in a baby blanket and while facing the baby, I read the lyrics from the sheet that is placed on the table in front of me, so that it looks as if I am singing this to the baby.
At some point I will unwrap the doll's blanket and show everyone the physical characteristics, reminding the audience that only about 10% of affected children have features definitive enough to get a diagnosis before age 6.
The second reading is a poem “Little Mama” that portrays a young woman with undiagnosed alcohol effects. After these readings there is a collective sigh, and I agree out loud that this is indeed sad, and it is what happens with unrecognized, undiagnosed FASD where individuals do not get the support and services they need.
The third item, the grand finale, is the skit “This is the Baby that Lisa Had” which is a take off on the children’s story “This is the House that Jack Built” that has a fun rhythm to it. I make it fun by asking for 8 volunteers, one at a time, to play the roles in the skit. First I announce that the volunteers will only be required to stand when their name or role is mentioned and to sit down when they hear me say “poisoned.” I place 8 chairs at the front of the room, or they can take part in their seats if they have room to stand and sit. It seems to work better if they are all at the front. I make sure that I have the baby bottle with the booze in it that I use to demonstrate that when a pregnant mother takes a drink, so does her baby, as the BAC (blood alcohol content) of the baby can be the same as or higher than the BAC of the mother. With the baby bottle of booze nearby, I hold the baby and ask for volunteers.
The first volunteer I ask for is someone to play Lisa. “Who would like to be Lisa?” and I hand the baby to “Lisa” and ask her to take a seat at the front. Then I get a volunteer to be Lisa’s friend (male friend or boyfriend), then I ask for a bartender, a nightclub owner, an ad writer, a lawyer, a senator, and a lobbyist. If they don’t volunteer, pick someone. When all 8 are seated at the front, I tell them that each time they hear me say their name they are to stand, and each time they hear me say “poison” they are to sit down. Then I read “Lisa’s Baby.” I may have to coach them until they catch the hang of it. I hold up the baby bottle or the booze bottle or a glass of something like tea that looks like booze when I say “This is the booze that poisoned the brain of the baby that Lisa had.” When you get to the lawyer and the lobbyist you can read it fairly fast and everyone will laugh at the ups and downs of the volunteers. Then the last half is more serious. Be dramatic, get the important points across with emphasis and deliberate pronunciation, and don’t hurry the important parts.
At the end, have the volunteers form a Circle of Support around Lisa and her baby. Encourage every person to commit to being part of the Circle of Support. Ask for applause for the volunteers. Please acknowledge the author and source.
PDF file for this skit: Lisa's Baby: FASD Awareness Skit
FAS Community Resource Center